A two-possession deficit after the first quarter was not enough for the Tremont football team to cave in, but the defense couldn’t contain the Colfax-Ridgeview/Lexington co-op team in Friday’s 26-14 road loss.
The Turks (1-4) trailed 13-0 after the first, but briefly took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Mustangs (2-2) scored 13 unanswered points to escape with a win.
It was easy to identify what went wrong for Tremont.
“Lots of broken tackles. We didn’t do a very good job of tackling all night and it came back to haunt us,” Tremont head coach Lou Wicks said. “We got back in the game and then we had some more missed tackles and got in a position where they got a lead and we couldn’t get back in.”
Ridgeview/Lexington rushed for 280 yards on the ground and scored 13 fourth-quarter points in the win. Running back Damien Cordes ran for 101 yards for the Mustangs and Josh Hardman added 89 on the ground.
After trailing 13-0 entering the third quarter, a 75-yard touchdown run from Eli Finnegan pulled the Turks within seven.
Finnegan finished with 158 yards on the night, giving him 438 yards and five TD’s in his last two games.
“Eli is so solid and working hard,” Wicks said. “He’s doing a great job back there.”
Tucker Runyon scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard run and Logan Baxter punched the ball in on the two-point conversion to give Tremont a one-point lead in the final frame.
More missed tackles by Tremont allowed the Mustangs to score the next 13 points on the way to a victory.
The Turks have taken strides on defense this season. Early in the season, Tremont defenders weren’t in the right spot, on Friday they were in the right spot, but couldn’t wrap up Ridgview/Lexington.
“We’re getting to where we need to be, we just need to do a better job tackling,” Wicks said. “We were out of position way too much earlier (in the season). We just have to do a better job tackling and those things should shore up pretty good.”
Baxter completed 12-of-27 passes for 127 yards in the loss, and Wicks has seen his backup quarterback grow each week.
The Turks continue to improve, and Wicks knows they haven’t hit their ceiling yet.
“We’re still making some progress and I think we can get better both offensively and defensively, as long as we’re willing to keep working on it,” Wicks said.
NOTES: Brock Madson caught three catches for 56 yards for Tremont. ... Finnegan and Klayton Fehr each recorded seven tackles.